Build more Homes in Ontario Announcement

Today, the Ontario government introduced the Cutting Red Tape to Build More Homes Act, 2024, as part of its ongoing commitment to cut red tape, speed up government processes and build at least 1.5 million homes by 2031.

This spring 2024 red tape reduction package includes a variety of measures that would improve service delivery while saving people and businesses time and money. These targeted steps would build on the actions Ontario has taken to cut red tape to date, which are expected to save people and businesses over 1.5 million hours and $1.2 billion every year.

These measures include a proposed regulation to require ministries to develop business service standards for permits and license services to help businesses understand how long they can expect to wait for a decision about a permit or license they need. In addition, this legislation would, if passed, help reduce unnecessary regulatory burden, delays and costs for utility projects.

The proposed legislation also contains a variety of measures focused on cutting red tape to help build more homes faster. Municipalities and homebuilders have been clear that red tape is one of the biggest barriers to getting shovels in the ground. The proposed legislation would, if passed, take significant steps toward streamlining approvals and increasing housing and infrastructure development across the province.

“These measures recognize the struggles that our municipal partners have faced in building homes and are targeted at removing those obstacles,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister of Legislative Affairs. “We’re not going to micromanage and dictate a one size-fits-all approach across the province. Municipalities know their communities best – they know where it makes sense to build homes. That’s why we’re supporting them by giving them the funding and tools they need to build much-needed infrastructure and more housing, of all types.”

If passed, the legislation and targeted housing measures would help municipalities and other partners by:

  • Building homes faster at a lower cost, including by letting homebuyers and homebuilders decide on the number of parking spaces in new residential development near transit based on market needs and by making it easier to build more garden, laneway and basement suites.
  • Prioritizing infrastructure for ready-to-go housing projects with a new “use it or lose it” process to address stalled development.
  • Improving consultation and providing municipalities and builders with greater certainty to get homes built faster, including by limiting third-party appeals to the Ontario Land Tribunal.
  • Building more types of homes for more people by streamlining approvals for student housing, supporting standardized designs to reduce delays and costs, including for modular homes, and supporting innovative construction methods such as mass timber.

 

In addition to the proposed legislation and other measures to cut red tape, the government is supporting municipalities through tools and initiatives to build more homes faster. These include:

  • Substantial investments in housing-enabling infrastructure, including through the $1 billion Municipal Housing Infrastructure Program, the $825 million Housing-Enabling Water Systems Fund and the $1.2 billion Building Faster Fund.
  • Strong mayor powers, which are being effectively used across Ontario to speed up approvals at a local level.
  • The elimination of the provincial sales tax from purpose-built rentals to boost rental starts that are already at record levels.
  • The Transit-Oriented Communities Program, which is helping build vibrant, mixed-use communities that will bring more housing (including affordable housing options), jobs, retail, office space and public amenities within a short distance of transit stations.

 

In addition to the housing-related initiatives, the proposed legislation and regulatory package includes complementary initiatives to grow a stronger economy, keep costs down, save time and improve service delivery for businesses and people across the province. These include:

  • Attracting investment and creating new jobs by making it faster and easier for municipalities to provide incentives to attract game changing global investment.
  • Building transit and infrastructure projects faster by reducing delays and costs for utility relocation projects.
  • Providing predictability and certainty to businesses by implementing service standards for permits and applications, as part of our work to establish a single window for business.

Quick Facts

  • In 2023, Ontario reached 99 per cent of its target of 110,000 new homes.
  • This is the 13th red tape reduction package and the 12th red tape reduction bill introduced by the Ontario government since 2018.
  • Since 2018, Ontario has taken more than 500 actions to reduce regulatory burdens.

Quotes

“Removing barriers faced by universities when building student housing shows how we can find innovative ways to get shovels in the ground sooner. By requiring postsecondary institutions to publish their student housing policies, we’re also ensuring students have access to and are aware of student housing options that are safe, affordable and within an easy commute to campus.”

– Jill Dunlop
Minister of Colleges and Universities

 

“These proposed measures would get more homes built faster by ending needless delays and cutting red tape to get shovels in the ground sooner. Embracing innovative factory-made housing solutions like modular homes and mass timber will accelerate homebuilding, improve housing affordability for Ontario families, and support home-grown industries that provide quality jobs for Ontarians.”

– Rob Flack
Associate Minister of Housing

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